Health Data Analytics

Working in Health Data Analytics

In this day and age, data is everywhere. Ensuring that data is captured and used to it’s full potential to drive health and healthcare decisions is the role of the Health Data Analyst.

This is one of the most diverse and exciting areas of healthcare. A jobs boom in health data analytics is predicted over the next few years, driven by the increased visibility of the value of health data during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prominence of machine learning and algorithms in our everyday lives (you’ve all been targeted by online advertising!).

Health Data Analysts operate across many fields including academia, government and the ‘business’ side of medicine. They utilize data from a variety of sources to make predictions and recommendations or implement projects aimed at improving patient outcomes, streamlining services, reducing error-rates or ensuring cost-efficiency.

Some of the data sets they harvest include national health survey data, electronic health records and clinical data, clinical trials and registries, insurance claims data, Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data, genome sequencing information, and even patient sentiment and feedback data that can help ensure improvements in health services respond to genuine patient experiences.

Some exciting technology-based applications of health data analytics are around wearable technology, image recognition and applications of machine learning. Our new Master of Health Data Analytics focusses strongly on the latter, producing graduates able to engage in large-scale projects that will transform healthcare, such as AI-driven analysis of digital images of radiological scans and tissue biopsies. Such advances can reduce turnaround times for vital medical results, reduce employee time lost to administrative tasks, and reduce storage costs for health service providers.

As a result of the unique skills required and growing industry demand, the field is generally well-paid.

Ideal attributes

  • Strong affinity for quantitative work and high degree of numeracy
  • Strong interest in or knowledge of health and health systems
  • An aptitude and interest in software and programming
  • An aptitude for lateral thinking to solve novel problems

Finding the right position

Health Data Analysts are in demand across a variety of employer types.

Private insurance companies and governments may employ them to analyse large datasets around health funding, private health claims, MBS and PBS claims, in an attempt to reduce wastage.

Pharmaceutical companies may employ them to assist with clinical research and design and analysis of clinical trials, or to help drive improvements to sales through better understanding of market needs.

Both public and private health services use them to improve and streamline services, including the development and implementation of technology-driven improvements.

Positions abound in academia, focusing on designing solutions for research questions concerning patient or public health care involving analysis of large datasets.